American Cocker Spaniel
The American Cocker Spaniel originated in the UK and was established as a separate breed from the English Cocker Spaniel in the 1900s. It is a sporting breed used to scare animals out into the open for their masters to shoot. The Cocker weighs between 18 and 28 pounds and stands around 15 inches high.
The American Cocker Spaniel has a feathered, silky coat and dropped ears (the hair on which should be kept clipped to reduce ear infections). The signature trait is the Cocker’s expressive dark eyes. Their coat color can be one of many: solid black, black and tan, silver, light cream, dark red, brown, brown with tan points, black and white, black and white with tan points, brown and white, brown and white with tan points, red and white, blue roan, orange roan, liver roan or chocolate roan.
The standard lifespan for an American Cocker Spaniel is about 10 to 11 years. The breed is susceptible to a variety of health problems, particularly ear and eye infections. Some other eye problems include progressive retinal atrophy, glaucoma and cataracts. Cockers also can have several autoimmune problems as well as hip dysplasia.
The temperament of the American Cocker Spaniel is very joyful, outgoing and trusting. The Cocker is gentle with children and other pets and should also be treated with gentleness. Irresponsible breeding has led to fearful behavior in some Cockers as well as submissive urination and resource guarding. It is a versatile dog ““ popular as a pet but known for its ability to be a show dog, companion hunter, gaming dog or therapy dog.